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Crypto Marketplace Guide

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What is a Crypto Marketplace

Digital currency and items have been centralized to various marketplace services for convenience. A marketplace is any platform that sells or trades cryptocurrency, NFTs, and other digital goods through blockchain technology. Exchange of cryptocurrency through a marketplace is often compared to the stock market where prices can fluctuate based on market trends. NFTs (non-fungible tokens) can also be purchased through a marketplace. An NFT, in its current form, is often found as a unique piece of art or an in-game asset. In the United States, marketplace platforms have simplified how users interact with blockchain assets, integrating 3rd party services such as credit, debit, bank wire, and even loans.

Currency and digital assets are stored in a digital wallet.

There are different types of marketplaces catering to blockchain technology and we’ll be covering the basics in this guide. As with anything in the crypto space, details are subject to change. 

When buying or trading cryptocurrency and NFT assets, be aware of fees and security.

Common Fees

Fees typically come in two forms, Gas and Platform fees.

A Gas Fee refers to the monetary value of performing the actions needed to perform a transaction or execute a contract on the blockchain. Blockchain code is complex and requires energy, so this accounts for that cost. The price of a gas fee is determined by supply and demand. 

A Platform Fee is charged for the services provided by online marketplaces. This sort of cut is typically what we assume a platform uses to pay for keeping servers up, maintaining the website, providing customer service, etc. Platform fees are often a small flat charge but the price can increase with a transaction of a higher value.

Security

Cryptocurrency and NFT related market exchange operates under a decentralized format, meaning marketplaces are not regulated or insured by governmental authorities such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Despite this approach to security sounding like a negative, decentralized exchanges offer several positives such as transparent transactions and ownership of assets. Assets and currency that feature blockchain are usually extremely hard to mimic and there is a digital trail of exactly where those items have been. For example, if someone buys an NFT piece of art and then trades it to another person, there’s digital evidence of that trade.

Types of Marketplace and How to Choose One

Similar to physical markets, an online marketplace can offer different shopping experiences. Some focus on cryptocurrency, others sell mostly NFT art, and some specialize in their own NFTs and tokens. One will likely choose a marketplace based on their online goals and habits such as interest in trading the hottest digital coins or jumping into a marketplace designed specifically for a video game. However, it’s also important to note what services a market provides and the types of currency it supports. 

Here’s a list of common markets and their specialities:

For Crypto Exchange

Coinbase – Best Overall

Cash App – Best for Beginners

Bisq – Best Decentralized Exchange

Binance.US – Best for Altcoin

For General NFT Collecting

Opensea – Leader in NFT Sales

Crypto.com – Best Overall

Rarible – Best for NFT creators

Nifty Gateway – Best for Music & Art NFT

Product Focused NFT Marketplaces

Axie Infinity – One of the Best Play-To-Earn Game

NBA Topshot – Best for Sports Card Collectors

Immutable X – Best Gas-Free NFT Marketplace

IMPORTANT NOTICE

Always keep in mind that all Crypto and NFT markets are highly volatile and speculative. Major financial decisions should be considered through a qualified finance professional. Take caution of risks and research before making major commitments. Through meaningful, smart use the world of blockchain technology can be an exciting and rewarding place. 

Always avoid projects or markets that have the potential for being a scam or “rug pull.”

FAQ

Can I purchase NFTs without buying cryptocurrency?

It is possible to buy NFTs without buying crypto on some marketplaces. Rarible, for example, allows users to purchase NFTs with a Visa. Always check the payment types supported on any given marketplace.

What kind of cryptocurrency should I purchase to buy NFT?

It usually depends on which blockchain the project is based on. For example, if you would like to purchase a CryptoPunks NFT, you will need Ethereum currency to buy it. However, if you would like to purchase an NFT from Meta Kongz, you will need Klay because it is based on the Klaytn blockchain.